Gamble v. Conway et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER: 1. Gamble's motion to proceed in forma pauperis 4 is GRANTED; and 2. Gamble's complaint 1 is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; and 3. The Court will enter an appropriate judgment; and 4. This matter is STRICKEN from the active docket. Signed by Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove on 12/21/2016. (CBD)cc: COR, Gamble USPS Modified doc. type. on 12/21/2016 (CBD).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
BENNIE LEE GAMBLE, JR.,
JACK CONWAY, et al.,
Civil No. 3:16-cv-099-GFVT
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Bennie Lee Gamble, Jr., now a resident of Texas City, Texas, has filed a pro se complaint
alleging that in 2002 defendants Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, Commissioner
Robert Foster, and the Kentucky Department of Corrections violated unidentified civil rights by
falsely imprisoning him, and seeks $10 million in damages for resulting emotional harm. [R. 1.]
He has also filed a motion to proceed in forma pauperis [R. 4], on the wrong form. Nonetheless,
the Court will grant his fee motion for the limited purpose of conducting the initial screening
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
As this Court has noted before,
Gamble has a well-established history as a repetitive and abusive filer before this
Court, and each of the defendants he has named in his “criminal complaints” was a
named defendant in one or more of several prior civil rights actions filed by Gamble
in an effort to overturn his Kentucky state convictions. Each case was dismissed by
this Court upon initial screening. Gamble v. Corrections Corp. of America, No. 7:
12-CV-79-KKC (E.D. Ky. 2012); Gamble v. Corrections Corp. of America, No. 7:
13-CV-63-ART (E.D. Ky. 2013); Gamble v. Corrections Corp. of America, No. 7:
13-CV-82-ART (E.D. Ky. 2013); Gamble v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, No. 5:
13-CV-308-DCR (E.D. Ky. 2013); Gamble v. Ky. Dept. of Corr., No. 5: 13-CV317-KKC (E.D. Ky. 2013); Gamble v. Bottom, No. 5: 13-CV-326-JMH (E.D. Ky.
2013); Gamble v. Conway, No. 5: 13-CV-327-JMH (E.D. Ky. 2013); Gamble v.
Peckler, No. 5: 13-CV-328-KSF (E.D. Ky. 2013).
Gamble v. Thapar, No. 7: 14-41-KKC (E.D. Ky. 2014). Since 2010, Gamble has filed nearly
fifty habeas corpus petitions and civil rights actions, nearly all of which have been promptly and
His present complaint fares no better. The entirety of his allegations are that he was
“falsely imprisoned” because the police “violated my rights.” [R. 1 at 4.] Gamble provides no
factual basis whatsoever for these claims, and a complaint which consists entirely of conclusory
statements and legal conclusions fails to state a viable claim for relief. A complaint must do
more: it must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468,
470 (6th Cir. 2010). The Supreme Court has explained that:
While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the “grounds” of his
“entitle[ment] to relief” requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of a cause of action’s elements will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that
all of the complaint’s allegations are true.
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Simply labeling the defendants’
actions - whatever they might have been - as “wrongful” or a violation of unidentified civil rights
deprives the defendants of notice of the conduct complained of, a notice to which they are
entitled. Because the complaint does not provide any factual basis for the claims set forth in the
complaint, it must be dismissed for failure to state a claim. Grinter v. Knight, 532 F. 3d 567, 577
(6th Cir. 2008) (quoting Scheid v. Fanny Farmer Candy Shops, Inc., 859 F.2d 434, 436 (6th
Cir. 1988) (“More than bare assertions of legal conclusions is ordinarily required to satisfy
federal notice pleading requirements.”)
Second, as with many of Gamble’s previously-dismissed cases, his assertion that he was
imprisoned “falsely” is plainly barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). See Gamble
v. Corrections Corp. of America, No. 7: 12-CV-79-KKC (E.D. Ky. 2012). And, to the extent his
claims are not barred by issue preclusion and/or claim preclusion in light of the repeated
dismissal of his prior complaints, his blank references to a violation of civil rights beginning in
2002 can be read as asserting a state law negligence claim or an Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference claim, but such claims would be plainly time-barred by Kentucky’s one-year statute
of limitations, Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(a). Mitchell v. Chapman, 343 F.3d 811, 825 (6th Cir.
2003). For these reasons, Gamble’s complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.
Accordingly, and the Court being otherwise sufficiently advised, it is hereby ORDERED
Gamble’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis [R. 4] is GRANTED; and
Gamble’s complaint [R. 1] is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE; and
The Court will enter an appropriate judgment; and
This matter is STRICKEN from the active docket.
This the 21st day of December, 2016.
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